• Germany edition
 
Thousands protest to save Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA

Thousands protest to save Berlin Wall

Published: 04 Mar 2013 08:45 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Mar 2013 09:38 GMT+01:00

Under unseasonably blue skies, police said at one point as many as 6,000 people had joined in the demonstration at the 1.3-kilometre (nearly one mile) stretch of Wall, known as the East Side Gallery.

Building contractor Maik Uwe Hinkel, who is behind the new project, has said he is prepared to enter into dialogue with the opponents, the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported Monday morning.

Work has now been stopped until March 18, when talks with the Berlin senate and the local district authority have been planned.

Since 1990, the outdoor gallery has been covered in brightly coloured graffiti murals, including the famous "Fraternal Kiss" depicting Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and his East German counterpart Erich Honecker.

The 3.6-metre high (11 feet) stretch is a tourist magnet and a must-see for history buffs retracing the dark chapter of Berlin's 28-year-long division who are otherwise hard pressed to find remnants of the Wall to photograph.

But plans for a residential development along the banks of the Spree river as well as providing access to a planned bridge require a 22-metre segment of the Wall to be dismantled.

Several hundred demonstrators turned out on Friday, when work to remove the Wall temporarily stopped mid-morning after a crane had removed a first panel.

"Money is Making the Wall Fall!" read one banner Sunday, while slogans directed at Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit, such as "Wowereit, the Memorial Stays!" could be heard.

Many are opposed generally to the development of housing projects on the area between the East Side Gallery and the Spree, which once marked the boundary between East and West Berlin.

"I cannot and do not want to tolerate the little that remains standing of the Berlin Wall being damaged," local Green party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele said.

"If I was (US President Barack) Obama I would say to Wowereit, 'Keep Up This Wall'," a well-known DJ, Dr Motte, founder of the techno Loveparade gathering, told the crowd, alluding to the famous challenge by former US president Ronald Reagan to the Soviet Union's Mikhail Gorbachev to "Tear down this wall!" in 1987.

Thrown up in 1961, the Wall stretched 155 kilometres (96 miles) and divided Berlin until 1989, but today only around three kilometres of it still stand.

AFP/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:14 March 4, 2013 by ado1000
Community consultation is supposed to happen before work starts! Who the hell manages this?? The guy behind BBI airport?!?!
11:23 March 4, 2013 by mobaisch
We would be happy if the same happens to our wall in Palestine! take ours!
18:21 March 4, 2013 by melbournite
@mobaisch that will be a glorious day when the Apartheit wall comes down and Palestine is freed from that brutal occupation
21:51 March 4, 2013 by Steve1949
@ mobaisch...........Your words are falling on deaf ears here. You should bring this matter up to your Arab friends. They should be the ones supporting your cause.
07:34 March 5, 2013 by melbournite
A segregated bus line has just been introduced in the occupied territories. Israel has to be treated like the racist, apartheit regime in South Africa. Everyone should support the BDS movement www.bdsmovement.net/
Today's headlines
Berlin squat ripped apart by fire
Kreuzberg's Cuvrybrache. Photo: DPA

Berlin squat ripped apart by fire

One of Berlin’s biggest squats was torn apart by a fire on Thursday night following an argument. READ  

View from Germany
'In a globalized world we don't need more loners'
'No' campaign supporters celebrate in Edinburgh after the results were announced. Photo: DPA

'In a globalized world we don't need more loners'

The Scottish referendum has dominated the German media this morning, as Germans had been apprehensive for the European consequences of a possible "Yes" vote for Scottish independence. The result is also set to lead the UK to a more German-model of government. READ  

Sterilized woman gets pregnant, sues doctors
Photo: DPA

Sterilized woman gets pregnant, sues doctors

A woman who gave birth after becoming sterilized has tried and failed to sue the hospital which carried out the operation. READ  

Thousands queue for Apple's iPhone 6
Queues outside the Apple Store in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Thousands queue for Apple's iPhone 6

UPDATE: Apple’s new iPhone 6 went on sale on Friday morning, leading to long queues outside stores across Germany. Berlin's Apple Store sold out of the iPhone 6 Plus in an hour. READ  

Blitzmarathon
Pupils catch teacher and mum speeding
A camouflaged speed camera in Schleswig-Holstein on Thursday. Photo: DPA

Pupils catch teacher and mum speeding

A nationwide operation against speeding drivers ended on Friday morning, with police hailing their "Blitzmarathon" as a success. One child in Düsseldorf caught his own mother driving too fast. READ  

Police find two dead babies in station locker
The lockers at Hamburg central station. Photo: DPA

Police find two dead babies in station locker

UPDATE: Police in Hamburg found the bodies of two dead babies hidden in a train station locker on Thursday morning. One suspect is in psychiatric care. READ  

Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready
The weapons are ready to be sent. Photo: Bundeswehr/Pulpanek

Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready

Germany’s military said on Thursday it was ready to send its first shipment of arms to Kurds fighting Islamic extremists Isis in northern Iraq. READ  

German of the Week
Munich's mayor practices for Oktoberfest
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter. Photo: DPA

Munich's mayor practices for Oktoberfest

Dieter Reiter has been in office for less than five months and will this week take on one of the Munich mayor's most important duties - tapping the first keg at Oktoberfest. He is only the city's second mayor in the last 21 years. READ  

Europeans descended from three tribes
The skull of a farmer from Stuttgart examined for the study. Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen

Europeans descended from three tribes

German researchers have traced the origins of modern Europeans to a migratory melting pot of three ancient tribes dating back 8,000 years. READ  

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid
The pyramids at Giza. Photo: DPA

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid

Fragments of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which were allegedly stolen by German archaeologists last year, have been returned to Egypt from Germany. But the case against those who allegedly took the samples is continuing. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: DPA
Tech
Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Photo: DPA
Politics
These men want to be the next mayor of Berlin
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,366
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd